Member Publication News (July 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett is pleased to announce her return to poetry with the publication of “Radiant,” which came out in Nonbinary Review #24 Industrial Revolution. Carina’s research on the radium girls has been mostly cut from her novel-in-progress, so she’s especially pleased to share these women’s story in this issue published by Zoetic Press.

In other news, Carina’s story “A Seed Planted” was issued as a reprint in The Society of Misfit Stories published by Bards & Sages.

Dakota Brown has a new dark fantasy novella in her line-up in her Reverse Harem series. Rose Amongst the Sagebrush was originally published in the anthology Cupid in Love.

Austin, Cassidy, and John Nash are half brothers and mustang shifters working for Harris Abney as his ranch hands. With secrets to keep, and their heritage to protect, they try to keep to themselves. Despite that, they find themselves head over heels for the same woman. Will they be able to answer their hearts and keep their secrets safe?

Fleeing an unwanted and dangerous suitor, Rose Abney heads west from her comfortable city life to spend time on her uncle’s cattle ranch in the shadow of the southern Colorado mountains. What she finds is far more than she bargained for, but will love be enough to protect her when her past chases after her?

Claire L. Fishback is accepting pre-orders for The Gorging of Souls, the second novel in the Origin Codex series.  

 Eight and a half months after Detective Ann Logan and seven-year-old Maggie Hart prevented Yaldabaoth from unleashing terror upon the world, all is quiet in Harmony, Colorado. But when Teresa Hart escapes from Mountain View Mental Hospital, Maggie’s perpetual nightmares intensify, and the mysterious marks that link Maggie and Ann burn to life, signaling the presence of a new evil—or the return of an old one. The ancient war between the servants of darkness and the servants of light is far from over. Once again Maggie and Ann, bound together by destiny, hold the space between the delicate balance of life as we know it and eternal horror. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

On the filthy tattered sofa in the abandoned funeral home at the edge of Harmony, something evil has pushed its way into the world. And it is hungry.

Travis Heermann‘s story “Pagliacci’s Joke” can be read in Unmasked: Tales of Risk and Revelation, the newest anthology published by HWA member Kevin J. Anderson at WordFire Press.

Pull back the mask to reveal 21 tales from seasoned and award-winning authors, of magical masks, gas masks, death masks, superheroes, secret identities, disguised robots, alien symbionts, a Napoleonic thief, a swindling demon—even a hidden clown.
Who will take the risk?

Explore the masks we wear, the mysteries they conceal, and the price we pay when they’re stripped away. Join us in our unmasquerade as we revel in—revelation!

Sam Knight’s story “Whoever Writes Monsters” is one of the 23 tales included in the anthology Monsters, Movies, and Mayhem, which just won the 2021 Colorado Book Award. This anthology was published by HWA member Kevin J. Anderson at WordFire Press. Congratulations!

Sometimes you go to the movies. And sometimes, the movies–and their monsters–come to you. At any moment, without notice, monsters once relegated to the screen become a reality. Aliens and demons, dragons and ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and seemingly ordinary people who are just plain evil.

Join award-winning authors Jonathan Maberry, Fran Wilde, David Gerrold, Rick Wilber and others for 23 all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors. Each story takes you to the silver screen with monstrous results.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Witches & What Happened (June 2), Circling the Truth (June 9), Flies, Lies, & Sweet Scams (June 16), Alabama Slammers with guest Laura Hayden (June 23), and Shining a Light (June 30).

Angela Sylvaines story “Cyclone Sisters’ Traveling Circus” was included in Welcome to the Funhouse, an anthology of carnival horror released July 1st. This story is a reprint and originally appeared in Dark Moon Digest.

Welcome to the Funhouse is the fourth anthology from Blood Rites Horror and the first edited by Kelly Brocklehurst and Jamie Stewart. With twelve grisly stories of coming-of-age terror, carnival cruelty and fairground frights, this collection brings together the best and most exciting talents in the horror community.

Joshua Viola is pleased to announce the publication of “The Disciple of Many Faces” in Birdy, Colorado’s premiere arts, comedy, and culture magazine.

“Let there be darkness,” the disciple said. He pierced the wretch’s eyes, and it was good.

Marie Whittaker includes her take on Strong Female Leads with her story “TR.8C.” This story is part of a powerhouse line-up featured in the anthology We Dare: No Man’s Land, edited by Jamie Ibson and Chris Kennedy.

Whether it’s changing an engine on the outside of a spaceship’s hull or chasing SimNACs through the jungle, these heroines have only one goal in mind—to win at all costs! From defending asteroid bases to searching giant space stations, these women get the job done!

What makes female leads great? Does it matter—these women are incredible! Be warned though—they may be referred to as the “fairer” sex, but don’t cross these ladies, or you’re gonna get what you have coming!

Member Publication News (June 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett is pleased to announce that her story “Twice in the Telling” is included in the fairy tale mash-up anthology Upon a Twice Time, published by Air and Nothingness Press.

They say I killed my sister, that I pulled her over the railing into the swollen river. They say my sister struggled up until the very end. They say I crushed her bones with my strong brown arms, scalped the shining hair from her skull. Some claim I’m an ogress, a kelpie, a nokken, that I’m no sister at all.

Dakota Brown released The Price of Exorcism: A Reverse Harem Tale (Pizza Shop Exorcist Book 2). This book is intended for mature audiences.

I was an exorcist, one of the best. I thought I’d accidentally banished Sabian back to Hell, along with the demonic prince, Ezra, who’d been possessing me at the time. Turns out, the enemy snatched my incubus away from me as leverage in the upcoming war. Mal, my vampire boyfriend, and I try to summon both Sabian and the demon prince, failing at every turn. When we’re at our wits’ end, Prince Ezra shows up in person with an offer I can’t refuse: help him with a small task and he’ll take me to Hell to rescue my incubus. Terrifying? Sure, but what isn’t these days? *This book is intended for mature audiences.

Hillary Dodge takes on the alphabet with her story “N Is for Needlepoint,” which was published in ABC’s of Terror, Volume 3 by D&T Publishing.

A painting that watches you as you walk by. A doll that isn’t quite the way you left it. A music box that continues to play a haunting tune. Inside these pages are 26 stories, from A-Z, about the things that people left behind. Or maybe they left a little piece of themselves behind, as well.

She also contributed writing advice in Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and other Self-editing Tips by Angela Yuriko Smith  and Lee Murray.

Travis Heermann continues his work in the Shinjuku Shadows universe with the publication of his novelette “Heart Magic and Cardboard People,” which was included in the anthology Street Magic, edited by Lyn Worthen.

Heermann is also currently running a fundraiser for his debut film Demon for Hire. For more details, check out the blog post From Author to Screenwriter to Filmmaker.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: D is for Dangerous  (May 19) and Mommy Issues & Monsters (May 26).

Joshua Viola and co-writer Keith Ferrell are pleased to announce the publication of “Flashpoints” in Birdy, Colorado’s premiere arts, comedy, and culture magazine.

Member Publication News (May 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Wild: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers edited by Rachel Delaney Craft and Natasha Watts (RMFW Press) is a finalist in the category of anthology for the Colorado Book Awards. This anthology includes stories by three members of the Colorado Springs Chapter of HWA: Carina Bissett, Rick Duffy, and Angela Sylvaine.

Read more about these authors’ creative process in the blog post Writing for a Themed Anthology. An excerpt of Rick Duffy‘s story “Castles in the Sky” can also be read at The Colorado Sun in the feature article “’Wild: Uncivilized Tales’ collected stories from more than a dozen Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.”

Travis Heermann’s story “The Avenger” was published in StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

A suburban man lives through endless millennia through his strange dream-connection to an eons-old horse deity, only to discover the deity is not what he thought it was. — “The Avenger” by Travis Heermann

Heermann is also on the lineup of authors reading at StokerCon 2021, and he is currently running a fundraiser for his debut film Demon for Hire. For more details, check out the blog post From Author to Screenwriter to Filmmaker.

Angie Hodapp’s story “Collateral Damage” was published at Birdy Magazine online in conjunction with the magazine’s interview with John Palisano and Joshua Viola about StokerCon 2021. “Collateral Damage” is also included StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

When drug dealer Marcy lands a real job—thanks to her probation officer—at a kiosk inside Denver International Airport, she discovers one particular souvenir has the power to kill. — “Collateral Damage” by Angie Hodapp

Hodapp will be accepting pitches by appointment at StokerCon 2021 for the Nelson Literary Agency.

Sam Knight’s story “World by the Horn” can be found in anthology Particular Passages. When a woman’s long life comes to an end, she finds herself reunited with a make-believe friend from her childhood who has never forgotten his promise to her. This anthology also features Marie Whittaker’s creative nonfiction essay “Folly,” a stream-of-consciousness reflection from the point-of-view of a child.

Knight is also on the reading line-up at StokerCon 2020, and his story “The Curse of the Dreamcatcher” is included in StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

Standing watch over Denver International Airport, the giant Blue Mustang locally known as Blucifer acts as a dreamcatcher, helping people forget their troubles as they journey out into the world. But what happens to those captured dreams, those nightmare troubles? What if they were whispered back…into your ear? — “The Curse of the Dreamcatcher” by Sam Knight

Shannon Lawrence is pleased to announce the inclusion of her short story “Watched” in I Is for Internet (A to Z of Horror Book 9). I is for Internet, the ninth book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. In this book you will find a collection of thirteen unsettling tales from some of the most imaginative independent horror writers on the scene today. Each story takes a new look at the potential horrors of the online world, from stalkers to cyber-demons, artificial intelligence to predators. I is for Internet will plug you straight into the mainframe and have you desperate to pull the plug.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Death Finds us All  (Apr. 7), Murder & Maple Syrup (Apr. 14), Banana Sandwich: Chicken Coops & Vampires (Apr. 21), and Of Towers & Typhoid (Apr. 28).

We are also pleased to feature new releases and information for HWA’s Denver Chapter!

Maria Abrams is thrilled to announce the release of her first novella She Who Rules the Dead. Henry has received a message: he needs to sacrifice five people to the demon that’s been talking to him in his nightmares. He already has four, and number five, Claire, is currently bound in the back of his van. Too bad Claire isn’t exactly human.

Jeamus Wilkes discusses his work with The Horror Writers Association as Co-Chairperson/Denver, his writing, and the upcoming StokerCon in Denver (via ZOOM this year) at the podcast Burial Plot, Episode 1.

Member Publication News (April 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett‘s story “Serpents and Toads” is included in Gluttony: An inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires (Seven Deadly Sins Book 6), which was published by Black Hare Press.

This retelling of the fairy tale “Diamonds and Toads” was originally published at Enchanted Conversations.

“Sign here.” Painted a lurid scarlet, the dark-haired woman’s lips spread into a thick smile. She tapped a red fingernail on the paper she pushed in front of me.

“That’s it?” Now that the promise sat in front of me, I was hesitant to take the next step. What if this was like all of the other false miracles I’d tried? But then again, what if it actually worked? What if I could be as thin as the women I envied? “That’s all I have to do? Just sign this paper?”

M. H. Boroson recently completed the screenplay for his award-winning novel The Girl with the Ghost Eyes.

“A fun, fun read. Martial arts and Asian magic set in Old San Francisco make for a fresh take on urban fantasy, a wonderful story that kept me up late to finish.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

“An impressive first novel set in a beautifully realized world of Daoism and martial arts… One of those books you can’t wait to get back to.” —Lian Hearn, author of the international bestselling Tales of the Otori series

“A brilliant tale of magic, monsters, and kung fu in the San Francisco Chinatown of 1898… This fantastic tale smoothly mixes Hong Kong cinema with urban fantasy, and Li-lin is a splendid protagonist whose cleverness and bravura will leave readers eager for her future adventures.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Travis Heermann is pleased to announce the arrival of Tokyo Monster Mash, his newest novel. A yakuza warlock butchered his family, but that was just the beginning…

When Django Wong discovers the Black Lotus Clan murdered his family, he vows to destroy them, but the Council of Five Elders forbids it.

But then the Black Lotus starts a gang war in Tokyo, wielding terrifying new magical powers. Django must team up with three witches—and a snarky alley cat who’s not really a cat at all—to find the source of the Black Lotus Clan’s power. If they can prove the Black Lotus Clan is behind the plague of soul sucking vampires, the Council might just let him have what his honor demands.

Perfect for fans of Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist, Tokyo Monster Mash brings you mind-bending magic, femme fatales, savage monsters, martial arts action, and powerful cultivation.

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Murder & Mispronunciations Galore (Mar. 3), A Little Morphine & A Little Monster (Mar. 10), Harbingers & Hags (Mar. 17), Missing & Murdered Moms (Mar. 24), and Flying Under the Radar (Mar. 31).

Angela Sylvaine is excited to announce the release of her debut novella, CHOPPING SPREE, #27 in the Rewind or Die series from Unnerving Books.

Eden Hills, Minnesota is famous for one thing—its ’80s inspired Fashion Mall. When high school junior, Penny, lands a job at one of its trendy stores, she notices her teen coworkers all wear a strange symbol they won’t explain. Suspicious but wanting to belong, she agrees to stay after closing for a party in the closed store. Her fun turns to terror when Penny discovers a mortally wounded boy and learns there is a killer loose in the mall. Soon the teens are running for their lives. Will Penny discover the truth behind the mall cabal and survive to slay another day, or will she fall victim to the galleria of gore?

Member Publication News (March 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett‘s story “The Certainty of Silence” is included in Twisted Anatomy: A Body Horror Anthology.

“The locksmith has examined every piece he’s removed from my form, so I’m not surprised when he opens my blighted voice box with surgical precision. The first notes creep out to tempt my bridegroom. The net is cast. I smile.”

This piece is a Bluebeard/Little Mermaid mash-up written as a protest against domestic violence. Proceeds from this anthology benefit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Dakota Brown is pleased to announce the release of The Price of Possession: A Reverse Harem Tale (Pizza Shop Exorcist Book 1).

“Darius was the only guy I couldn’t say no to, the one who dragged me into the world of the occult in the first place. When he shows up and begs me to assist with an exorcism, I reluctantly agree. Before I know it, I’ve got an incubus in the living room, a hellhound marking around my yard, and a demon prince who can’t decide if he wants to kill me or… you know. Normally I wouldn’t work with the supernatural, but we all have a common goal. Prevent the crime syndicate from summoning a demon prince and becoming more powerful than we can hope to handle. If I can keep my cool, it will be a miracle. If I can hold on to my soul it’ll be an even bigger one.”

This book is intended for mature audiences.

J. A. Campbell is a contributor to Crash Philosophy: Third Collision.

From Nerdy Things Publishing, Crash Philosophy collides unusual characters and settings to bring you one-of-a-kind reading experience. If you want to gain the entire set of choices, be sure to grab the First Collision and Second Collision, too!

The third installment in the Crash Philosophy series brings you 32 new stories from 17 authors. You never know what style of storytelling you’ll get, what genre you’ll enter, or what adventure you’ll take on when you choose from the new entries. The world is in your hands, what combinations will you choose?

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: The Fights for Civil Rights (Feb. 3), Of Love & Lunacy (Feb. 10), Freaky Florida: Apparitions & Alcoholics (Feb. 17), and Mama Bears Gone Terribly Wrong (Feb. 24).

Several of our members are featured in StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

A dying star is a beautiful and petulant thing, lashing out at the great, unfeeling chill of the Universe. Behold, the Devourer of Stars. — “The Devourer” by Josh Viola

A suburban man lives through endless millennia through his strange dream-connection to an eons-old horse deity, only to discover the deity is not what he thought it was. — “The Avenger” by Travis Heermann

When drug dealer Marcy lands a real job—thanks to her probation officer—at a kiosk inside Denver International Airport, she discovers one particular souvenir has the power to kill. — “Collateral Damage” by Angie Hodapp

Standing watch over Denver International Airport, the giant Blue Mustang locally known as Blucifer acts as a dreamcatcher, helping people forget their troubles as they journey out into the world. But what happens to those captured dreams, those nightmare troubles? What if they were whispered back…into your ear? — “The Curse of the Dreamcatcher” by Sam Knight

Other HWA COS content contributors include Carina Bissett, who interviewed past HWA president Lisa Morton, Hillary Dodge, who wrote about the history of the Colorado chapters including the formation of the Colorado Springs Chapter (HWA COS), and Dean Wyant interviewed Joe R. Lansdale and also composed an essay on the history of Hex Publishers.

Member Publication News (Jan. 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett is thrilled to announce the appearance of her story “An Embrace of Poisonous Intent” in the anthology Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, published by Egaeus Press.

Bitter Distillations is a collection of disquieting, disorientating and otherwise uncategorizable tales for which poison provides the inspiration. This hardcover edition is limited to 340 copies.

In December, Carina also saw the publication of her linked vignettes created for a shared world in The Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game.

The city is called Redoubt, and as far as anyone knows, it is the last.

Dakota Brown has a new release in her Ocean Enchantment series with the publication of Siren’s Song: A Reverse Harem Tale.

My guys saved me from myself, but we still have a whole boat load of problems we have to deal with. We’ve got a kraken swimming around attacking boats. We have mages called in by the government to deal with the Kraken hot on our tails and the magical black market has us in their sights after we liberated a kelpie child from their cages. To top that off, while my guys got their siren tails right away, I still can’t shift into mine. (This book is intended for mature audiences.)

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow add a few new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Gunslingers & Shots in the Dark (December 23) and Arsenic & Old Money (December 30).

Gary Robbe is happy to announce that his piece “Poem of the Riverbank” is included in the anthology Todd Sullivan Presents: The Vampire Connoisseur.

These sixteen tales of night creature chaos were collected and edited by Todd Sullivan, the author of the Vampire Series of Extreme Horror.

Angela Sylvaine is pleased to share that her flash piece “Midnight Snack” is included in the section Cemetery Chillers in the anthology Campfire Macabre, published by Cemetery Gates Media.

50+ original flash horror tales organized by five themes: Spook Houses, Slashers, Witchcraft, Within the Woods, and Cemetery Chillers. A book perfect for time spent around the campfire or on a long car trip! Brand new pieces from award-winning storytellers and established authors.

In other news, Angela’s story “Starved” is featured in the anthology Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo.

Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were. From desolate snowy mountains and apocalyptic wastelands to New York’s sex clubs and virtual encounters, Denver Horror Collective brings you, dear reader, visions of horror inspired by the Wendigo.

Josh Viola’sWhen the Trumpet Sounds” was published in Birdy Magazine. This story is a series of vignettes showcasing the lives of five very different people as the Rapture begins.

Member Publication News

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Marie Whittaker is pleased to announce that her story “The Legend of Lightning Lizzie” is featured in Weird Tales No. 364

Evil space plants, lecherous dragons and the mysteries of the vampire haunt the pages of WT #364. This issue features stories by Seanan McGuire, Gregory Frost, Joe R. Lansdale, Marie Whittaker, Dacre Stoker and Leverett Butts, Marguerite Reed, Rena Mason, Tim Waggoner, Gabrielle Faust, Weston Ochse, and Lee Murray as well as poetry by Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti.

Angela Sylvaine’s short story “Mr. Chew” was recently released on TheDreadMachine.com and The Dread Machine Podcast, Episode 5.  

Travis Heermann is pleased to announce that his story “Daubs of Color” opens the anthology Hauntings (The Haunted Anthology Book 1), edited by Jamie Ferguson.

Imagine waking every day in an old house, unable to leave the grounds because every time you do you get lost in the gray mist. What if the haunted section in the library was actually haunted? Seeing a ghost in a haunted house would be one thing…but what if it followed you home?

Step into the haunted worlds of the fifteen ghostly tales in Hauntings…if you dare!

Travis is also looking forward to the launch of his new novel Tokyo Blood Magic (Shinjuku Shadows Book 1, which is scheduled for release on December 8, 2020. 

When Django Wong, a modern-day ninja turned sorcerer, takes a job to track down a newly Awakened witch, he discovers that his target is not only his lost love, but now she’s an enforcer for the Black Lotus Clan, a ruthless yakuza syndicate.

But time can change a person. Is she the girl who used to love him, a yakuza slave, or a deadly black witch?

Josh Viola is thrilled to announce that his story “The Recall” was published in the anthology One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington, which was edited by Kenneth W. Cain and includes a powerhouse line-up of authors including Stephen King.

One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington is filled with stories of writers whose lives Frank touched in one way or another. He challenged them, cheered them on and he made sure to read the big names and small names alike.

Josh also worked with Aaron Lovett on the exclusive *variant* cover for Cover Alpha Comics edition of MISKATONIC #1, published by Aftershock Comix.

Miskatonic #1 by Aaron and Josh is available in three treatments:

  • Cover A:  Standard Trade Dress. Limited to 250 copies.
  • Cover B:  Virgin Edition. Limited to 125 copies.
  • Cover M: Metal cover. Limited to 15 copies.

In other news, Josh published “The Holy Appendix” under the pen name Jay Vee at Birdy Magazine. This piece stands as an anecdotal testament to the influence evangelicalism has had on Josh’s horror fiction.

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow launched a new podcast in November! Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is about true crime, the paranormal, cryptids, and other freaky things. A new podcast is released each Wednesday.

In November, Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem released three episodes: Cold Blooded Colorado Springs, Colorado Creatures and Hell Haunts, and Killers on Home Turf. Scheduled podcasts for December include The Devil Tramps and the Cryptids Creep, Coastal Killers & Haunts, and Do the Kansas Gates of Hell Lead to Gorbals Necropolis?

Carina Bissett is excited to announce the release of the HWA Poetry Showcase, Vol. VII. This year, she was one of the judges along with Gwendolyn Kiste and editor Stephanie M. Wytovich.

The Horror Writers Association presents their seventh annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse. Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich, this year’s featured poets are K. P. Kulski, Sarah Read, and Sara Tantlinger, plus dozens of poems from the talented members of the Horror Writers Association.

J. A. Campbell has a reprint of her story “The Toy Maker” in the holiday-themed anthology A Christmas Cornucopia, edited by Anna Rashbrook.

Every winter Nicholas journeys to the city to sell his clever mechanical toys. This year is no different, except a snowstorm delays his return to his ailing wife. When he is finally able to travel, he meets people who guide him toward a new, and promising calling. —“The Toy Maker”

Member Publication News

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Shannon Lawrence is pleased to announce the release of her holiday-themed short fiction collection Happy Ghoulidays. (Book Launch Nov. 9-19.)

Family time can lead to murder and mayhem, especially during the holidays. A turkey with a tale to tell, elves under attack, sorority sisters putting on a killer party, a woman’s desperation to save her family, and a stranger ringing in the New Year. These and other tales of woe await you beneath the mistletoe.

Be careful who you offer a kiss. It may be your last.

Marie Whittaker is thrilled to announce the release of Betsy and the Time Ship, the third book in the Shadowgate Tales.

Sam isn’t sure what to make of Betsy, the woman from another time, far ahead of his own. But he needs her and her time ship Mabeline to complete his mission. The Order of the Terminers faces unknown terrors, back in 1872, at Shadowgate Stonehenge. To complete their mission, they must exterminate a family of witches. Will Sam be able to complete the task?

Marie Whittaker also published There’s a New Kid, Lola Hopscotch!, book three in The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch—a book series dedicated to helping children fight and overcome bullying.

A favorite wintertime read-out-loud story for kids! Lola Hopscotch makes a new friend at school, and helps the new kid feel comfortable with others in this exciting new book in The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch picture book series for children.

Carina Bissett’s humorous horror story “The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires” was recently released in Coffin Blossoms. an anthology published by Jolly Horror Press in October 2020. She read this piece at the inaugural Bloody Valentine event in Colorado Springs.

Coffin Blossoms. A reminder that hope does spring eternal. In death itself there is often beauty, life, and on rare occasions even humor. The twenty-four stories in this anthology straddle the line between humor and horror in unique ways.

Claire L. Fishback is pleased to announce that her second short story collection, The Doll Room and Other Stories was published by Dark Doorways Press in October 2020.

A room with many small doors, a dream hitchhiker, furniture that moves by itself. A middle-aged housewife who desperately wants to be noticed. A child who collects macabre items. In these pages you’ll find strange encounters, dolls with secrets, and creepy children. Haunted ears. A long-lost daughter come home. Nightmares come true.

Angela Sylvaine’s short story “Here We Come A Caroling” was released in October in Gothic Blue Book VI: A Krampus Carol.

A collection of short horror stories and poems resurrect the spirit of the Gothic Blue Book. Gothic Blue Books were short Gothic fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century. Burial Day Books presents its sixth Gothic Blue Book, A Krampus Carol — a celebration of folklore and myth around Christmas, Yule, the cold winter months and Santa Claus’ opposite, Krampus.

In other news, Angela Sylvaine‘s story “Antifreeze and Sweet Peas” was included in the highly-anticipated anthology Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror, edited by Sarah Tantlinger.

M. H. Boroson released The Girl with No Face, the second novel in The Daoshi Chronicles. The adventures of Li-lin, a Daoist priestess with the unique ability to see the spirit world, continue in the thrilling follow-up to the critically-acclaimed historical urban fantasy The Girl with Ghost Eyes. The novel won First Prize in the Colorado Authors League Award, Science Fiction and Fantasy Category.

With hard historical realism and meticulously researched depictions of Chinese monsters and magic that have never been written about in the English language, The Girl with No Face draws from the action-packed cinema of Hong Kong to create a compelling and unforgettable tale of historical fantasy and Chinese lore.

Sam Knight’s story “Shattered Piece of Heaven” was recently released in the anthology Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 4: Women Running from Houses.

The theme is Gothic– the horror of Gothic romance. Throughout the mid-century, paperback Gothic romance books dominated the shelves, always featuring a woman running away from a house. Gothic romances tended to tell stories of women coming into conflict with old families, old houses and old traditions. So we’ve asked a bevy of best-selling writers to celebrate the movement with their own horrific takes on gothic. Run from the house with us!

In other news, Sam Knight‘s story “Leaving Dry Gulch on the Midnight Train” was published in the anthology Six Guns Straight From Hell 3: Horror & Dark Fantasy From the Weird Weird West, edited by David R. Riley and J. A. Campbell.

Saddle up for a wild ride through the weird, weird west. As you ride our trails you’ll want to keep one eye on the path ahead and one over your shoulder cause there’s a bushwhacking monster creeping up behind you.

Rick Duffy is thrilled to announce his new novel, The Sigil Masters, a young adult fantasy adventure. The novel won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold.

Strange magics, a secret history, and new friends await him on his desperate quest to unravel the mystery of his curse. If he’s caught, his mind will be ripped open and corrected, changing how he thinks and feels and remembers. But he’s hunted by a power-hungry madman who believes the curse holds the key to ushering in a new paradise—or plunging the lands into darkness and war.

Fleeing the very shadows of death, forced to choose between fate and friendship, can the ill-fated boy find a light to save them all?

In other news, Rick Duffy‘s short story, “Castles in the Sky” was recently released in WILD: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Fearless or feral? Liberating or life-threatening? The wild side of life takes many forms. It seeps through the cracks of our world in the form of stray cats, tenacious weeds, oppressive relationships, and haunting memories. These fourteen stories by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers explore the wildness that lives inside all of us—and what happens when we let it out.

It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers, edited by Joshua Viola and published by Hex Publishers, contains 14 cinema-inspired stories by such notable writers as Angie Hodapp, Kevin J. Anderson, Stephen Graham Jones, Warren Hammond, and Steve Rasnic Tem.

“The universally well-paced, imaginative selections sizzle with energy, delivering an intoxicating blend of spine-tingling chills and 80s nostalgia.”

—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW

In other news, the Hex Publishers’ anthology Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena, also edited by Joshua Viola, has received rave reviews. You can read an excerpt from the story “Cradle to Grave” by Angie Hodapp at Tor.com.

From Atlantis to the Third Reich and beyond, these thirteen original tales of cerebral science fiction and horror explore the evils that abound when humanity wields extraordinary minds as weapons, whether to wage war or prevent it. Steeped in psychic savagery, telekinetic combat, and extrasensory espionage, PSI-WARS imagines corrupt governments and daring operatives, gods and soldiers and hackers and spies. The authors don’t flinch when they peer around the darkest, most violent corners of the human psyche. Will you?

Dakota Brown recently released Siren’s Catch: A Reverse Harem Tale (Ocean Enchantment Book 1).  

Sirens destroyed everything I loved. My family, our offshore fishing business, and my life. I swore revenge and made it my mission to take everything they had taken from me, killing them one by one until there was nothing left but blood in the water. Cue Poseidon, god of the sea, livid that I’d killed off the protectors of his domain.

This book is intended for mature audiences. 18+ readers only! It contains language and sexual situations. This is mermaid themed medium burn reverse harem where the girl gets all the guys. Why Choose?

Writing for a Themed Anthology

In 2019, the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) put out a submission call for a then unnamed anthology focusing on the theme WILD. The editors, Natasha Watts and Rachel Craft, accepted all genres—realistic or speculative, contemporary or historical, literary or commercial. The only caveat was that the stories needed to be short fiction (1,500-6,500 words), and writers had to be members of RMFW. The editors received 78 submissions, and eventually narrowed it down, eventually settling on the final stories by how they complemented each other. Interestingly enough, three of the 14 stories selected for the anthology WILD: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers were written by HWA members: Carina Bissett, Rick Duffy, and Angela Sylvaine. With the current open submission window for the HWA members-only anthology Other Fears – An Anthology of Diverse Terrors, I thought it might be interesting to see how different authors approached the challenge of writing to a specific theme.

CARINA BISSETT

I always have good intentions when I see submission calls of interest, but I am an agonizingly slow writer. By the time I fully flesh out an idea, it is usually months, if not years, from the original call that inspired the concept in the first place. In this case, inspiration struck more than a year before the call for WILD was even issued. In August 2018, a massive hail storm wrecked havoc on Colorado Springs and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Softball-sized hail destroyed several structures, hundreds of parked cars, and killed a few of the exhibits’ animals. Luckily, the giraffes were spared serious damage. However, this had me thinking of the purpose of zoos and the fact that giraffes had just quietly slipped on Critically Endangered list. The end result was the story “An Authentic Experience”—a story about a zookeeper and the animals he cares for after Earth had been destroyed by an alien civilization. In all honesty, I just wanted the giraffes to have a chance to fight back, and I worked on the story with the image of a giraffe modified with teeth sharp enough to sever an obnoxious kid’s arm. I never thought this odd sci-fi/horror short would find a home. But then I saw the themed call for “stories of rebellions, escapes, and shattered boundaries,” and decided to submit.  

This is not the first time I’ve written a story that ended up being picked up for a themed anthology. My first professional story was a piece I’d written to a fairy tale prompt in 2015. I never thought this gender-bent, eco-fic, mash-up of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” would see the light of day, but a year later it ended up being the sole story selected from slush for the powerhouse anthology Hath No Fury. The submission called for strong female protagonists defying fantasy stereotypes. I figured “A Seed Planted” was close enough, and it turned out I was right. This piece has since been translated into Japanese and was featured this summer in Night Land Quarterly, Volume 21: “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.”

A similar thing happened with my second professional sale. Pantheon Magazine put out a call seeking short pieces based on the theme of transformation for the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence. I had grand ideas of writing a modern horror story based on the Arachne myth, but simply ran out of time. Instead, I submitted “Burning Bright,” a weird piece of flash about tygers, ladies, and the cycle of violence. Not only was it accepted for the anthology, but it recently received a mention by Ellen Datlow in the opening pages of upcoming release of The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Twelve.

Ultimately, I’ve decided that it’s best to write the stories that call to me, regardless of whether or not I think they might be marketable. I polish those pieces and hoard them like a dragon safekeeping gems. And then, when a submission call comes along that brushes up against the theme or mood in one of those stories, I send it out. No agonizing creative stress. No last minute panic. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s been a winning strategy for me so far.

CARINA BISSETT is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies. Her work has been nominated for several awards including the Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Publications Best of the Net. Links to Carina’s work can be found at http://carinabissett.com.

RICK DUFFY

When the call for submissions came for Wild, RMFW used words like fierce, out-of-control, feral and rebellious. Any genre allowed. I’d been working on a cross-genre short story (scifi/horror/disco – I’m not kidding), with robots and explosions and a dash of gore. That sounded like a fit, so I sent it in.

At the same time, I had been stretching my boundaries with a very different short, written from a female PoV in present-tense, both of which I’d never done. It did not contain explosions, and none of the characters get so much as a paper cut. But it did deal with boundaries and personal rebellion and growth. So I sent it in along with the other (Wild allowed multiple submissions.)

To my surprise, they accepted the second over the first. They felt it was a better fit. That’s the thing about anthologies: you can never be sure what a fit is.

My scifi/horror/disco may be the best thing since eggplant parmigiana (or the worst, if you don’t like eggplant) but the editors need to select and arrange a series of stories that don’t just work as individual shorts, but work and flow together. You could send in a fantastic horror short, but if the editors have already gotten two others with the same basic theme, they may reject yours simply because they need more variety.

The moral of the story is if you think you have a story that you can kind of, even if just a little, justify as matching an anthology’s specs, but you’re not sure, considering sending it anyway. If it’s rejected, don’t take it as a stake to the heart. It may have been nudged out because of the overall framework of the anthology and not because of anything about your writing or imagination.

My story is “Castles in the Sky”: A young woman leaves home for the city to follow her dreams—literally. I think its placement gives the anthology a nice contrast from physical wildness to a more abstract take. Since then, I’ve focused on publishing my first novel, The Sigil Masters, a young adult fantasy adventure, and am working on the second book in that series. Maybe anthologies also help bring visibility to your other works and I should submit to more of them. If not, they are good practice in writing different genres and dealing with different markets. In any case, I will always make room for shorts.

RICK DUFFY is a writer of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. His novel, The Sigil Masters, won the 2018 RMFW Gold in the young adult category. He lives in a peaceful Denver suburb opposite the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Connect with Rick at rickduffy.com.

ANGELA SYLVAINE

The theme for the RMFW anthology was an appealing one- Wild. So much can be done with this concept, and I decided to write a new story specifically for the call. I really enjoy writing new work based on story calls and find it’s a great way to get inspiration. A mixed genre anthology can be challenging for a horror writer, and I took the strategy of drawing the reader into a story that may not seem like horror at first. In other words, trick them. I am a big fan of young adult horror, and “Pruned” follows a teen girl growing into her powers over nature. When she loses control and harms someone she loves, she pledges to deny her true self and reject her powers. The addition of a domineering uncle and raging hormones make controlling herself harder than she’d hoped.

Since submitting to this anthology, I’ve continued to focus on short fiction. 2020 has been a challenging year for many writers, and early on in the pandemic I decided to stop working on novel length fiction. The effort was causing me great stress and just wasn’t much fun. This allowed me to be more productive on the short story front, which has been very gratifying. I have several stories upcoming, including “Here We Come A-Caroling” in Gothic Blue Book: A Krampus Carol, “Starved” in Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo, and “Midnight Snack” in Campfire Macabre. I’m also very proud to have just been upgraded to active status in the HWA. This was a big personal goal of mine, and I’m excited to be able to vote on the Bram Stoker Awards for the first time.

ANGELA SYLVAINE is a self-described cheerful goth that still believes in monsters and always checks under the bed. She holds degrees in psychology and philosophy. Her work has appeared in multiple publications and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Places We Fear to Tread, and Not All Monsters. A North Dakota girl transplanted to Colorado, she lives with her sweetheart and four creepy cats on the front range of the Rockies. Connect with Angela at angelasylvaine.com.

Listen to five of the authors (including Carina Bissett and Angela Sylvaine) read from their stories at WILD: Uncivilized Tales – Five Readings.

HWA COS Members at MileHiCon 52

Several founding members were on panels and offered readings at MileHiCon 52 (October 23-25). We’ve gathered them here for your enjoyment.

Carina Bissett

Panel: (Moderator: Stant Litore/ Panelists: Carol Berg/Cate Glass, Carina Bissett, Ian Brazee-Cannon, Jane Lindskold) How does one build a believable mythology? Panelists offer tricks and tips for building your own SF&F mythology. Watch the panel Building SF&F Mythologies HERE.

Panel: The Modern Age of Poetry (Moderator: Robert S. Rice/ Panelists: Dana Bell, Carina Bissett, Steve Wahl, Wendy Van Camp) Poetry Seems to be undergoing a resurgence or a renaissance, including in SF/Horror. Panelists discussed what and who is up and coming and their thoughts on the resurgence.

Travis Heermann

Travis Heermann reads the intro from his upcoming urban fantasy novel, Tokyo Blood Magic. When a ninja sorcerer takes a job to track down a newly Awakened witch, he discovers that his target is not only his lost love, but now she’s an enforcer for the Black Lotus Clan, a ruthless yakuza syndicate. But who is she now? The girl who used to love him, a yakuza slave, or a deadly black witch? You can watch the reading HERE.

Panel: (Moderator: Daniel Dvorkin/ Panelists: Jonathan Brazee, Travis Heermann, Mur Lafferty, Vennessa Robertson) A panel of authors who are also martial artists and military combat veterans discuss writing fight scenes and battles that sparkle with verisimilitude, including Do’s and Don’t’s. Watch the panel Real Combat: Fantasy vs. Fighting HERE.

Shannon Lawrence

Shannon Lawrence reads a section of her YA story “Awakening” from the music-based anthology Of Mist and Magic. The story was inspired by the orchestration of “Life After Life” by Phillip Lober.

Panel: (Moderator: Shannon Lawrence/ Panelists: Rebecca Lee, Fred Poutre, Vennessa Robertson, Lauren Teffeau) Crickets? Lab grown meat? What will the food sources of the future look like, and what are the alternatives to the traditional meat and potatoes now? Watch the panel Alternate Food Sources HERE.

Panel: (Moderator: Shannon Lawrence/ Panelists: Cory Doctorow, Daniel Willis, Brenda Hardwick, Jim Henderson) There are a million ways to self-publish these days. From giants like Amazon to going it on your own, what makes the most sense and what are the downsides to each? Watch the panel Amazon KDP & Other Publishing Platforms HERE.